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Nearly a fifth of people unsure how to get a better rate

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Reporter 2 minute read

New research sponsored by a non-bank lender has revealed that a third of Australians are “apathetic” about shopping for a home loan, but that nearly a fifth would like a better rate but are unsure how to get one.

According to a survey of 1,006 people nationwide, conducted by Galaxy Research from 7 to 10 April 2017 for State Custodians, 33 per cent of respondents said that they did not seek alternative deals for their home loan. 

While just over a tenth of people (13 per cent) said that they were “always on the lookout for better home loan rates”, surprisingly, a larger proportion said that they wouldn’t even consider shopping for a better rate. 

Those over the age of 50 were least likely to shop around (14 per cent) for a better rate every three to five years, while just 11 per cent in this age category said that they would think about refinancing after one or two years. 

The younger generations were more likely to go bargain hunting, with around of fifth of Gen X and Gen Y stating that they would start looking for a better rate every one to two years, while 12 per cent would do so on an annual basis.

Gender also played a role, with men more likely than women to try and get a better rate/deal from a different financial institution (73 per cent compared to 59 per cent), and more women also stated that they didn’t have the time or inclination to shop around for a better mortgage rate/deal (23 per cent compared to 13 per cent of men).

Overall, nearly a fifth of respondents (17 per cent) said that while they’d like to look for a better deal, they either weren’t sure how to go about it or didn’t have the time/couldn’t be bothered — which could open the door for brokers. 

State Custodians general manager Joanna Pretty emphasised that borrowers should be “quizzing” their lenders and mortgage brokers to ensure that they’re “constantly getting the right deal for [their] situation.

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“Even if [they] get a small discount, that can end up making a big difference overall, which is surely worth [them] making a call once in a while,” the general manager said.

Ms Pretty highlighted that online comparison sites can help borrowers compare different offers available, adding: “Mortgage brokers can also help. Even an enquiry to a few different lenders is a good option… if you are financially struggling, then it can be really worthwhile shopping around.

“A little effort may end up going a long way.”

[Related: ‘A third of IO borrowers don’t know they have an IO loan’: UBS]

 

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